Della is three months old today!

It has been awhile since I’ve given an update on my beautiful Bebe girl, but since today she turns THREE MONTHS old, I thought it would be a great time for an update on my new life in motherhood!

Ever since we brought her home, Della has been one of the most content and well-behaves babies I’ve ever seen! For the most part, she does not fuss unless she’s hungry, wants attention, or needs changed. She sleeps through the night pretty well- only waking about two times a night to eat. Once fed, she goes right back to sleep. 🙂 We are so lucky! However, it makes those nights when she’s up more than a couple times even more frustrating because we’re not used to it! Haha, but I truly can’t complain!

She’s such a happy, smiley girl. I’ve had quite a few moms tell me she should be a Gerber baby! I think her beauty is rooted in the fact that she has these long, beautiful lashes and curly hair. Ahhh, she makes my heart swoon!

She hasn’t yet let out a hard giggle, but she’s smiling and trying to get one out!

I can have bad days, but it’s amazing how those frustrating times no longer matter once I get her in my arms. Motherhood is truly one of the best things in the world!

Hope you all enjoy the photos of our beautiful girl. I’ll try to give more updates on here. What can I say? I’ve been pretty busy! 🥰

Let Yourself Love

Love is weird.

Whether we want to believe it or not, love can make us give up bits and pieces of who we are and give them to the person whom we love.

Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not.

You see, I’m the type of person to completely give myself away to the person that has captured my heart. A guaranteed ten times out of ten, I will put my lover’s needs, interests, and wants ahead of my own. That may be my biggest character flaw. I am so willing to go above and beyond for someone as an attempt to show them that I care. However, not everyone gives themselves away so freely. Others are much more rough, like rocks hanging onto a cliff as the wind blows against them. The wind can blow and blow, and some of those rocks will never release themselves to the ground below.

Sometimes the “ground” is scary. We don’t know what is going to happen once we let ourselves go. How far is the drop? How bad will it hurt?

I’ve always been quick to let myself fall. I see love as something you make; something you work at rather than coast through. When you coast, sometimes you forget the things that are really important and disregard how your actions are affecting those around you. I don’t believe love stays once you’re in it. I think it takes continuous reflection and change.  I don’t think once you fall in love that you will always be in love, unless you are willing to give bits and pieces of yourself away.

I know it sounds scary, but I see it differently.

Of course, trusting someone with the depths of your heart is frightening.

However, I have had the love that has shown me that it is not always that way.

I have had the love that makes me yearn for morning light so that he will awaken and we can start a new adventure. I have had the love where he knows the instant something is going to break my heart. I have had the love that not only fulfills me, but also betters me. I have had the love that makes complete silence not so lonely.

None of that amazing, lightning-fueled love would be possible without giving parts of myself away.

I’m not saying giving yourself away is all roses and butterflies, either.

I have had the love that makes me want to bury my face into a pillow and scream for hours straight. I have had the love that makes me lose all motivation to do anything with anyone. I have also had the love that leaves a horrible pain in my chest; so bad I can barely breathe.

None of that hurt makes me believe it all wasn’t worth it.

Yes, it’s hard to love. It’s hard to trust. It’s hard to rely on the hope that love will never end.

Sometimes love does end…

But if you love hard enough, sometimes it’s all worth it. 

I think back on some of my happiest days. I see tents and bonfires and football games and roadtrips and lakes and sunsets. The list goes on and on…

I have had some incredible memories due to the fact that I jumped on the horse and let myself love HARD. I’m not saying that everyone deserves a chance at your heart. All I’m saying is that you deserve, YOU DESERVE, a chance to find crazy, beautiful love. Don’t let the idea of giving yourself to the wrong person take that chance away from you.

You deserve love where your partner completes you. I can think of so many instances where he was just better than me. I could be doing something as simple as cleaning out the fridge. He would come in and ask to do it instead, leaving me to wonder what I could have possibly been doing wrong while rearranging the fridge. And sure enough, there he was doing it just… better. For everything I couldn’t do, he was just better. And that completed me!

It’s strange that I think of rearranging a fridge as a monument of great love, but I do. Because even simple things like that bring a smile to my face as I reflect on the incredible love that I have experienced. I hope you are willing to give yourself away to someone that is better at rearranging the fridge than you are. Because you deserve the love that makes you appreciate a simple life 😊

Open Your Eyes

There is so much beauty in the world

You just have to open your eyes to see it

Get off the phone

Go outside

Look around

Admire the way the leaves move in the wind

Watch the squirrels chase one another

Smell the cool, brisk air

Admire Mother Nature in all her glory

There is so much more to life

Than refreshing online feeds

Let’s converse deeply

Let’s seek understanding

Let’s love harder

Let’s open our eyes

I’m Finally a Mom!

Okay, so I’ve been really bad about keeping my blog up-to-date with all the goes on when you’re working and pregnant. Buuuut, we had our beautiful baby girl on January 5th!! I’ll keep this post short because the feeling of it all still leaves me speechless!

Meet Della Rae Ruble!

She was born at 1:56pm and weighed 7 lb 10.5 oz!

Those pictures are from the day our girl was born, but I want to drop some pictures as she’s grown because today she is SEVEN WEEKS OLD!!

And now she is finally starting to smile when we talk to her!

So now that I have left you with an abundance of baby pictures, I will get back to writing an actual post to share! Hope you all have been doing well, and I can’t wait to catch back up with some of the friends I’ve made on here!

Xx,

Chrissy

Breastfeeding: Is it worth it?

I am not writing this blog as a guru. Matter-of-fact, I’m about to become a mom for the first time myself. WHICH is why I thought it would be beneficial to look up some information about breastfeeding. I’m writing in hopes that while informing myself, I can also inform someone else.

During this pregnancy one of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is whether I’m going to breastfeed or not. To be honest, I am SICK AND TIRED of that question!

I haven’t decided if breastfeeding is what I want to do or not, but I want to be clear:

As long as your baby is being fed, WHO CARES?!

I’ve never understood why some feel the need to put down a woman because she decides against breastfeeding. Some women, like myself, just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding. I’ve struggled with this a lot because even people I’ve consulted with in the medical field had a way of talking about breastfeeding as if I didn’t do it, I’d be doing what wasn’t the best for my baby. But let’s be real… as long as your baby is being fed, it doesn’t reaaallllyy matter. Sure, breastfeeding has some really awesome benefits for your baby, but c’mon. A baby fed with formula is still a fed baby! And that’s all that matters.

I’m a pretty conservative and modest person when it comes to my body, so I just can’t see myself being comfortable with having someone try to teach me how to breastfeed or the idea that a child will be sucking on me. At this point, I think I’d like to try, but if it’s not for me, it’s not for me. There is always the option to pump breast milk for your baby, and evade the whole “sucking” experience. (Don’t get wrong, I totally support all breastfeeding mothers and respect the experience it brings to some mother-baby relationships, I just don’t know if it will be for me)

Here are some really great benefits from breastfeeding:

  • Breast milk helps defend against infections, prevents allergies, and can help protect against some chronic conditions
  • Germ-fighting antibodies pass from the mother’s milk into the baby to enhance their immune system
  • Less ear infections and diarrhea
  • Lower chance of meningitis, asthma, diabetes, and obesity
  • Breast milk is more easily digested than formula
  • Breast milk’s flavor changes depending on what the mother eats, so the baby will get to experience many different tastes
  • It’s convenient!
  • Breastfeeding burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, helping the mother return to her pre-pregnancy size

I want to open this blog up to some chatter from other moms out there! Did you breastfeed? What was your reasoning behind your decision? Any tips?

Continue reading “Breastfeeding: Is it worth it?”

An ENGAGING update!!

Hi, guys!! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve been on WordPress. Pregnancy comes along with a lot of things to do! I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy at work, planning my baby girl’s entrance into the world, and moving into a new house!

Readers and followers, we are less than THREE MONTHS away from the arrival of our little girl!! This pregnancy has gone by sooo fast. I apologize for not being so active. I plan to catch up on my writing here within the next few weeks. As delivery gets closer and I am home more, I will be able to sit in front of the laptop a bit more.

But this blog is special.

My significant other and I decided we needed a getaway from everything, so we planned a trip to Nashville. On that trip, HE PROPOSED! It was totally unexpected and in front of the Parthenon.

Here is the photo we got right after:

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(I was still crying)

I won’t say much about Nashville here, but it was a beautiful city. I’m most excited that the father of my child has made the promise to love me forever. I have so much to look forward to, and I can’t wait for all the excitement 2019 is going to bring!

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Parthenon

The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part II]

To read Part I of this blog, please visit The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I].

The only goal I have in writing such a deeply personal story is to spread awareness and share my story with others. Many times growing up I felt as though I was the only little girl with a mother in prison. Growing up, I found that like me, many other children were dealing with the same circumstances.

In fact, 1 out of every 28 children grows up with an incarcerated parent (Pew Research Center).

There are a few things we should acknowledge when reading that statistic.

Our parents’ actions do not determine our worth or capability of success. Looking back now, had the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services not intervened, who knows the person I would have become or what I would be doing. I can guarantee I would not be sitting in front of this computer sharing this with all of you. In any situation, whether it involve drug addiction or not, children can find themselves unhappy with who they are simply because of the opinions and interpretations of how other people view their parents. You do not have to lower your own standards because of what you think other people think about your family. It’s your decision and your decision only on who you want to become, the values you uphold, and the people you associate yourself with. Don’t like your alcoholic father? Don’t be one. Don’t like your addicted mother? Don’t be one.  Use your experiences to be the person that you always wished you had.

There are a lot of families that are affected by drug addiction. We have to end our preconceived opinions about addiction. Not everyone’s background or home life allowed them the easy choice of avoiding illicit drugs, and if you’ve never seen them used, this probably doesn’t apply to you. Imagine growing up in a home where you see drug use happening everyday as if it is a daily occurrence. People are much more likely to engage in that lifestyle when that’s all they know.  I’m not making excuses for addicts, I’m simply stating that we don’t know every addicts’ story. There are far too many people impacted by addiction for us to disregard the reasons as to how the addiction started and why it has not been fixed. I could have had a childhood with my mom had she gotten the help she needed. Now I understand that’s a pretty bold statement, considering that she could have been offered help, and just chose not to accept it. It is a two-way street. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Nonetheless, shouldn’t we at least try? 

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It would be ungrateful of me to leave out the special people that molded me into the person that I am today. I grew up in a family of nine, which included my aunt, uncle, their five children, my sister, and me. Every family has their share of ups and downs, but overall I like to believe that I was raised in a household of love, support, and good values.

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My Uncle Sam and Aunt Jodey with me on my softball senior night
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My great-grandma Elizabeth and I before my senior prom

Although my sister and I were not with the parents that gave birth to us, our aunt, great-grandma, and uncle did an outstanding job of taking us in and treating us with the same standards, commitment, and belonging as they did with their own children. Aunt Jodey and Uncle Sam, I am forever grateful for the home you always welcome us into and the belief you always showed in me. My aunt was always the one to advise me, help me go dress shopping, and get me ready for big events like proms and interviews. You got me in my first pair of heels and taught me what a polite young lady looks like. My uncle was my best friend, so-to-speak. We played catch out in the yard and watched football every Sunday. You introduced me to my love of sports and most importantly, set the example for what a father should be when mine walked out. Most people in our small town know my grandma as the woman that wears the big hats and drove the station wagon. I see her as much more. Grandma Elizabeth, you taught me so many lessons that I can’t even begin to explain. You wrote me letters nearly every single day I was away at basic training, and you always made sure Gabby and I had everything we needed. You are absolutely, without a doubt, the wisest person I know. Without the three of you, I would not be the person I am today and I believe that my world is a much better place with you in it.

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Front: Samantha holding Matthew (Rabecca’s son, my nephew), me, Gabby Back: Joseph, Andrea, Victoria holding her daughter Morgan, Aunt Jodey, Rabecca holding her daughter Rose

I have never thought of my five cousins as anything other than my siblings. I’ve always considered every one of them as my sister and brother. You guys were never reluctant to share your life with two people that had a different story. None of you ever pressured me about my mother and all of you were always ready to listen to my frustrations, talk me out of my anger, and console me when I was upset. Rabecca, Victoria, Andrea, Samantha, and Joseph: I love you guys with my entire heart and I consider myself enormously blessed to have grown up with you guys. The bond we share is no different than that of those that share the same parents.

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Gabby. When I was old enough to understand what happened to us, I always took you under my wing. I have always seen it as my duty to love you, support you, encourage you, and stand up for you, more-so than anyone else in my entire life. We walked through the storm and made it out together, strong as nails. I will always watch over you and push you to become the woman I know you can be. Thank you for being my motivation and the sole reason I chose forgiveness. You were always the compassionate one. Some may think you didn’t get bitter about our mother because you didn’t understand what was going on, but I disagree. I genuinely believe you were just a far more loving, forgiving person than I ever thought I could be. You taught me hope. You taught me the meaning of perception. You led me to forgiveness. You are my rock.

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I wanted Part B to be the positive side of the story. I do believe it is, but what I want to end this series on how it relates to the words in which I chose to title these entries. “The Crazy Thing About Addiction.” Yes, it’s a messy and saddening story, and some parts I left out or didn’t tell in full detail, but that is not the route I wanted to take.  I wanted to share my perception of the beauty in something that is the result of what has caused me the most pain in my life thus far. Just because something is negative, doesn’t mean that there cannot be beauty contained within it. I gained five siblings that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I gained the experience of a real father’s love. I gained countless relationships and friends that I probably never would have, had my life gone in a different direction. I gained empathy, passion, and motivation. But most importantly, I gained the liberating understanding of what it’s like to forgive someone wholeheartedly, and there are very few things that are more beautiful than that.

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My mother and me, since amends have been made

To take a short, anonymous survey about these articles and give me ideas for future blogs, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/85GFLHQ. Your feedback is important to me! Thanks in advance!

The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]

I’ve seen a post circulating around Facebook that drives me nuts to no end, so I thought it would be fun to give my side about addiction.

We’ve all seen the “addiction is a choice” posts, talking about how calling addiction a disease is only enabling the addict and therefore allows them to feel sorry for themselves… Please.

Now before you sigh, roll your eyes, and stop reading this post, let me say that I am absolutely not in complete denial of those arguments. Yes, the moment someone decides to stick a needle in their arm, they are making a choice, and in some cases, I’m sure it does give addicts an excuse to keep using; however, to broaden the statement to apply to an entire group of people without consideration of how they were raised, why they made the decision to abuse these drugs, and what exactly does go through an addicts’ mind, is ignorance in its purest form. Let me begin by sharing my story.

For those that grew up along side of me in school, you probably have heard bits and parts of my story and know that drug addiction is a topic in which I am extremely passionate about. If there’s one thing that I hope to accomplish in my life, it is to speak out to those that are affected by a loved one’s decision to engage in such a damaging, heartbreaking addiction. I want you to know that you are absolutely, 110% not alone.

From my childhood, I remember cuddling up with my mom on the couch to watch Oprah every afternoon. I remember trying to squirm away from her as she tickled my feet. I even remember the way her thin, beautiful blonde hair laid against the back of her leather jacket. I loved this woman. I don’t doubt for a second that she loved me, too. We all have times in our lives where we have regret for the choices we have made, and that is part of the reason I have grown to forgive, cherish, and move on.

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I don’t have much of the paperwork on what happened, nor do I even really care to see it. Out of respect for all involved, I’m going to put this into the most courteous, easygoing way that I can. The paperwork I do have shows that on August 27, 2004, a “safety plan” was put into place by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. For lack of better words, our mother was struggling with addiction and my father was never in the picture. I was only seven and my little sister was four. This “plan” stated my sister and I were going to move in with our great-grandmother under the care of herself and my maternal aunt. To this day, I am grateful to these women for taking my sister and I in, keeping us away from the struggles of the foster care system. By November 15, 2004, the official order appointing guardianship to our great-grandmother was finalized.

As you can probably imagine, two kids at the ages of seven and four wouldn’t really understand the severity of what was happening. So my sister and I moved to a new school and started completely different lives. We started living with our aunt, uncle, and five cousins.

For a long time, the change wasn’t something that kept me awake at night. When I was old enough in school and big life events like first dances, recitals, and games began to roll around, I realized that something in my life was very different than a lot of my schoolmates. My mom was never in the stands during basketball games. She was not the woman to get me ready for school dances, and she was missing out on all of the great things I was accomplishing. I grew bitter. How could the woman that gave birth to me not care about me enough to be there for something so important in a child’s life?

My mother was in and out of prison throughout all of my elementary, junior high, and high school life. There were periods of times when I so badly wanted to talk to her that I had her write letters to my friends’ addresses from prison, in fear that I would get in trouble for talking to her. In her letters, my mother often denied the responsibility of us not being together, and this would send me into a rage. I eventually stopped responding to her letters, swearing I was done with all of the hurt and anger that she had put me through.  My friends and teachers that were oblivious to this situation made jokes or comments at school about hearing someone with my name being arrested for meth (My mother and I have the same name). Two of the times I found out about my mother’s arrest was because a teacher at school made a comment to me after hearing my name on the radio or television. I was nowhere near being able to get away from the pain that addiction had caused me.

It was somewhere along my junior or senior year of high school where I decided I was done being angry. Holding onto the resentment and despise that I had for my circumstance was only holding me back and keeping me from truly being happy. I honestly believe that if you want to be truly happy, you have to forgive those that have hurt you, and move on. I decided to see her off and on, and she even made it to one of my softball games my senior year. That was the only time she ever saw me play a sport. After long debate, the day before I graduated high school, I decided to call her and invite her to my graduation.

My mom saw me graduate high school.

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Throughout my entire life, seeing her in the bleachers that day stands out to me as just a truly beautiful, incredible moment of forgiveness, love, and progress. Although addiction has many downfalls, there can always be beauty found in something so ugly. No matter what an addict struggles with, we shouldn’t be so quick to turn our backs on them. You never know if you could be the one person that strikes the chord that leads them to recovery. Everyone on this earth has a purpose, no matter what mistakes they have made in the past. Take it from me, forgiving someone that has caused you pain is hard. It’s incredibly hard, but not impossible. The only way we can truly be happy with ourselves is to lose ourselves. Lose anger. Lose resentment. Lose barriers. Lose anguish.

Choose love ♥

Continue reading “The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]”